Pastors John Hagee and Jerry Falwell have both denied a report in The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that they embrace the “dual covenant” theology, which holds that Jews are saved through a special relationship with God and so need not become Christians to get to heaven.
In a statement to the Post, the Texas-based televangelist Hagee said that neither he nor Southern Baptist pastor Falwell “believe or teach Dual Covenant.”
Hagee added that he had “made it a practice for 25 years not to target Jews for conversion” at any “Night to Honor Israel” events. If Jews “inquire about our faith at a later time, we give them a full scriptural presentation of redemption.”
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He stressed that “regardless of the response from the Jewish person, we remain friends in support of the State of Israel as required by scripture.”
Falwell, meanwhile, posted a statement on his website to the effect that he believes “all people – Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc.” must accept Jesus in order to enter heaven.
Falwell highlighted his strong support of the State of Israel and his “love” for the Jewish people – “the chosen people of God.” He went on to “reaffirm that I am a Zionist in terms of Israel’s entitlement to its homeland.
I continue to pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Bible instructs Christians to do. And I have dedicated my life and ministry to working for the peace of Israel.”
But he stressed: “I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to dual covenant theology… I simply cannot alter my deeply held belief in the exclusivity of salvation through the Gospel of Christ for the sake of political or theological expediency. Like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily for the salvation of everyone, including the Jewish people.”